Study Corrects Cancer Data and Finds Cervical Cancer Rates, Disparities Higher than Thought

By David Sampson

A new study corrects cervical cancer incidence and mortality rates to account for hysterectomy, and finds both incidence and mortality of cervical cancer has been grossly underestimated, especially in the black population, in which hysterectomy rates are higher. The study, led by Anna L. Beavis, M.D., MPH of Johns Hopkins Medicine finds the prevalence of hysterectomy was greatest in white and black women aged 65 to 69 years, but the peak was significantly higher in black women (58% vs 43% for white women). After correction, the black mortality rate was 10.1 per 100,000 (5.7 per 100,000 without correction), whereas the corrected rate for white women was 4.7 per 100,000 (3.2 per 100,000 without correction). Without correction, the disparity in mortality between the races was underestimated by 44%. The oldest black women had the highest corrected mortality rate at 37.2 deaths per 100,000, a rate that rivals the rates of undeveloped countries.

We asked Otis W. Brawley, M.D. MACP , the American Cancer Society chief medical officer, to respond to the study.

a�?This is an important and very well-done study that has real implications in cancer medicine. The United States has very high rates of hysterectomy, so recalculating incidence and mortality after removing those who have had a hysterectomy, and who therefore cannot get cervical cancer, makes sense. After all, statistics are usually provided only for those at risk. For example, testicular cancer rates include only men and not men and women. Even with breast cancer, for which men have very low incidence, we commonly report incidence and mortality in women only.

otis-brawley-potraits-5x7-2016a�?The message to healthcare providers, insurers, policy makers, and patients is the same: Disparities not …read more

Source:: American Cancer Society